This week thousands of manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and even consumers show up in Las Vegas for what has to be the world's biggest love-in with the automobile.
Exhibitors offering everything from floor mats to complete hot rod bodies will have displays, looking for folks to stock and sell their products.
If you have never been to the Specialty Equipment Market Association show, it's a trip worth making.
If you're a new-car dealer or an automaker, it's a trip more than worth making. If you are trying to figure out what automotive aftermarket products are hot for consumers, you'll probably find out at the SEMA show.
Once upon a time, SEMA stood for Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association. But over the years, SEMA swapped out parts of its name to broaden its base, and the SEMA show -- the group's love fest with the automobile -- survived $4 gasoline and strict safety regulations.
The SEMA show is a very strong love affair.
For one week, it's simply a three-ring circus. It's all about what is quickening the pulse of car owners and new-car buyers.
There are seminars for car dealers who want to find out how to accessorize their new and used inventory for additional profit.
Don't be surprised to see folks from all over the globe. Lots of places make accessories for cars and trucks. And they all want to sell in America. First they want to sell to the aftermarket. If they're lucky maybe they will interest some new-car dealers. Hitting the jackpot would be a small order from one of the automakers. Hey, just a few hundred thousand to start.
I've never figured out the right formula for accessorizing new cars, but I know that a lot of dealers are very successful doing just that.
If you engineer or design cars, you already go to the SEMA show every year.
But for anybody in the auto industry who wants to get an idea of what the aftermarket is all about, spend a day or two at the show. Las Vegas during this show is where to get a master's degree in consumer tastes.
If you like cars or trucks, this is the place to be.